Saturday, April 30, 2011

Daddy Issues

I know I haven't posted too much about Aura's 'dad'... I'll try to backfill later but suffice to say he's not involved. I've been on this BabyCenter website and just got into a conversation with someone who is about five steps behind me in an extremely similar situation. It's times like these that I'm truly proud of myself for being a strong person. This girl is younger than me and she's so unsure of every decision she'd like to make. We've been going back and forth for a bit but my last response to her was the perfect short(ish) summary of how/why I decided to handle things the way that I did. I'm posting it so I can remember with absolute clarity how I feel at this moment in case I ever start to doubt myself in the future:

MsAngelStarr · you!
Posted 8 minutes ago

"Yes, it is his responsibility to be there for his daughter but for her sake, don't try and force him to be something he's not. When she gets older and he's going in and out of her life, she'll have that hurt and wonder, why doesn't daddy love me enough to come see me all of the time? He can't give something that he doesn't have,"
This is EXACTLY how I feel about it. My father married my mom because she was pregnant with me. He was there for a few years (better than most in that situation) and two other kids... but he started drifting before my youngest sister was born. "Working late", never present... I'm sure you see where this is going. One day during a fight he told my mother that he was never ready for a family and was sorry he tried. We all heard it. My mother was heartbroken but I think it was worse for us... maybe the worst for me. 
I know how it feels to realize one day that your father was there because 'he had to be' and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
It did make me stronger, I'll say that for sure. It made me strong enough to fight for what's right for my daughter. As it stands now I don't speak to the 'dad'. I told him we'd talk and see about visitation when he grows up. He doesn't see her or even pictures of her and he doesn't get updates. If he wants to be involved he has to BE involved. Period. He can't have it both ways.
I will say that I have not shut the door on this issue completely. If he comes back months or years down the line and wants to be involved and more importantly is READY to be involved, then we will certainly talk about it. But you can't make a leopard change his spots. If this dude you're dealing with is unreliable, it's something that he has to (hopefully) grow out of... but don't hold your breath. Boys will be boys. Your daughter deserves to have a family that truly loves her and wants to be with her and that ONLY has her best interest in mind. If that's not him then spare her the years of disappointment down the road. 
 Ultimately it is your decision to make. 
If you need anymore advice from someone who's been dealing with this and, honestly, is pretty damn secure in her decision feel free to contact me. (sorry so longwinded)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring has sprung!!

That my dear friends is the first time my daughter had even seen or sat on grass! I'm sure I was more excited about it than she was but being a winter baby I had been counting down until sunshine and grass and walks to the park... IT'S HERE! This is also Aurora's very first pair of sunglasses... we got a super good deal on them (two pairs for $1.75!!!)so she has them in white too. How could I say no?

These were taken at "Uncle" Jim's house where the my BFF/roomie Steph, Aura and I went for our first Easter together as a little family. It was pretty low key and perfect.

She can never wait to break in a new bib the second you put it on her:

Aurora also got her first ride on a swing yesterday! We don't have a baby swing in the house so this was an entirely new experience for her. She seemed more intent on staring at the little boy next to her than enjoying herself but I got a few giggles out of her towards the end.

I can't wait for more sunshine and adventures with this little one... I don't think I've ever been so psyched for springtime. I've also already bought her bathing suit. I know, I know... WAY early but what can I say? Summer will always be my favorite.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My little bean is now a Jumping Bean!!

So on a lark I decided the other day to try out her doorway jumper... even though at just under 5 months she's still technically a little too young. She wants to be more active and she's super strong but balance is an issue. I figured since she was so big and tall we could try it out. Well... there's no going back now. She's obsessed!! I'll warn you now... the rest of this entry is pretty much all pictures. I can't stop taking them (not to mention videos) she's hilarious when she gets in this thing!

Sometimes it's a little tough to catch her being still... but somehow blurry photos can be cute too!

I love this over-the-shoulder pose.

You know she's tuckered out when she just starts sucking on the side of it.

Definitely the best $15 I've spent in a long time!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sweet potato boogers and establishing good eating habits (solid food!!)

My little bean has sweet potatoes up her nose. I can't get it all out so I guess it'll be there until bathtime. She's already so good at eating, and usually pretty neat about it... well as much as you could hope to expect. But today she was so enthusiastic while eating her potatoes that she blew a giant raspberry and sent some of the orange mush straight up her nose!
Aurora is four and a half months old today. The new trend (yes, trends... whether they are based on research or not they are constantly changing and evolving) in solid food feeding is to wait until babe is 4-6 months but to aim for the later end of that spectrum. I can understand the reasoning and I agree that breastmilk is the the best nutrition and should be relied on for as long as possible. However, we are not breastfeeding (again, not by choice). I felt like the sooner I got something that actually tastes good into her mouth the better off she'd be. Formula is gross. It tastes like metallic powdered milk. If there were any alternative I'd jump on it. Unfortunately, short of buying strange lady milk off of Craigslist (Ew.) it seems we will have to stick with our Good Start Gentle. It's formulated to be as close to breastmilk as possible... but science can't make all those nutrients taste as good as nature can. Anyway... I digress.
I decided to start solids on the earlier side. I don't feel like I forced the issue for many reasons. One, Aurora STARED at anyone around her who was eating... impolite gape-mouthed staring. Sometimes she would even look like she was pretending to chew along with us. Two, she was just 10oz shy of doubling her birthweight and seemed like she was always hungry but would stop mid-feeding to chew on the nipple of her bottle (but cry if you stopped the feeding). Three, she could sit. Not by herself obviously but if you sat her down she needed very little support, just for balance.
She lost the reflex that makes babies push food out really quickly (Side story: I knew the exact day that she lost it. One morning she woke up and was opening and closing her mouth over and over. It was completely different then she used to move it, almost like she was practicing... sounds like exaggeration or wishful thinking I know, but I was right. So take what you will from that.) I started VERY slowly. At first I gave her just enough rice cereal to coat her tongue. Three days of that mush (to make sure there was no reaction) and then we moved on to fresh baked and pureed apples because the rice cereal is barely a step up from formula. Still just a teeny bit for three days.
Then we had our first 'jarred food' experience.

I wanted to expose her to carrots but all the baby cookbooks (I plan to make as much of her food as possible) say to avoid giving fresh carrots until 8 months because there's a danger of nitrates, so jarred it was. I got organic pureed carrots. Ingredients: carrots, water. They were pretty gross. After the heating process to put them in a jar they taste almost nothing like carrots. She had a spoonful for three days but will not be eating them again unless they are mixed with fresh food.
Things went great so I decided to make her some peas!

I worried a little more about this one after all the sweet and bland foods but she accepted them really well. I'd like to think that it's because I had a few 'tricks' up my sleeve but it could just be that she takes after mom and loves food and wants to experience it all. Who knows. The 'tricks' in question are:
1. She always eats at the same time (between her second and third feeding of the day)
2. There is a fun build up. We pick out a bib together and I take her into the pantry with me when I put her food into a glass... a shot glass actually. Laugh if you want, but they are the perfect size, easy to clean, and let's face it not getting much use these days.
3. We use the same spoon every day. A bright red one. She loves red and is drawn to it like most babies (and at least one mom) so I figured this would get her excited to eat. I'm not sure that it does but I'll tell you one thing... she sees that spoon coming from a mile away and her mouth is wide open and waiting for it every time!
So far all of these things seem to have added up to one little girl who is psyched to eat and has never turned her head away or spit anything out. Two more days of sweet potatoes and then Aurora is on to Edamame!!
Now to clean up the aftermath:

...and douche those potatoes out of her nose.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Houston, we have found our feet.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy about this big milestone and I think it's adorable... but it's very hard to change a diaper when your little one assumes this position the minute you lay her down:

At least she makes the wiping part easy...

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Tale of Two Floppys

So at a little over four months old my daughter is already in love... meet 'Floppy Bear'.
Floppy came to us attached to a pair of pajamas. Little did I know that Aurora would be fixated on it within a few days. The first time I gave it to her, I assumed that it would be looked at for a few seconds and then tossed aside like the majority of her toys but instead she assumed a death grip on it and immediately stuck one of it's ears in her mouth! This was no fluke either... every time she sees this silly toy her eyes light up and an arm or that ear is in her mouth within seconds. She LOVES it. And like most of her things it is covered in drool and regurgitated formula more often than not.

SO... I decided that maybe a second Floppy was in order. Come to find out, you can't find her anywhere!!!

I found giraffes, horses, bunnies, cats but no more 'Floppy Bears'. If you go to the Vitamins website it lists 2 packs of these blanket buddies for $20(plus S&H) and even those bears are a different print. Really? It was included with her PJs for free! Someone has caught on to the fact that babies love these silly things. They really are the perfect combination of stuffed animal and blanket scrap. I had looked into the 'loveys' that are all over the internet... you know the creepy blankets with a stuffed animal head in the middle? But I couldn't bring myself to get her one. The idea of her carrying around a decapitated bear/bunny/duck/giraffe/whatever's head sewed onto a giant fuzzy petrie dish for an indefinite period of time was a little too much for me. This little bear/blankie hybrid however is all of the cute and none of the creepy. That being said was I really willing to pay $10 each to keep her in fresh ones till she grows out of this stage? Especially considering they were originally afterthoughts attached to only moderately cute but generously overpriced pajamas?
On one hand this little love affair has been going on for quite awhile now:

On the other hand, she's so young!
I'm reasonably sure that if Floppy disappeared she would barely notice... but as with most things lately, she fixates... I fixate. Images of Floppys danced through my dreams until I was pretty sure I would break down and pay $28 for two of the silly things and some rest. Then I started to wonder if a different blanket buddy would work just as well... there had to be more out there. So I started scouring the internet. Most of the outfits with buddies attached went for $19 (See? Too much right?) which was silly since I could just buy two buddies for $20. Then I found it! Someone on Ebay selling a lot of girls baby clothes, including not just a blankie buddy but the outfit AND a pair of my favorite baby 'jamas (Childrens Place 'stretchies'... they fit her better than any others) the starting bid? A whopping 99 cents! Finally someone who didn't realize just how valuable these little guys are! With shipping I paid around nine dollars for a buddie, a two piece pair matching pajamas, an awesome pair of my favorite PJs (the ones in the following photos), TWO onsies and a bib!! Take that! (Don't worry, I'm willing to teach my bargain hunting ways to anyone wanting to learn)
The package arrived and I noticed that the horse version had a bigger head and smaller ears. I presented it to Aurora for her approval hoping the difference wouldn't matter:

After a little examination:


It seems we have a new addition to Aurora's favorite toys.

So here's to Floppy #2 and the inevitable hunt for more under-appreciated blankie buddies in the future...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mohawk= attitude, apparently.

So Aurora had a bath yesterday and just for fun I piled her hair into a curly little mowhawk...

I was going to brush it out after but it looked too cute!

So let me start by saying Aurora is usually a super happy bubbly baby. Once she figured out how to laugh she just never stopped... she's always smiling and giggling. But when she woke up with her hair in this mohawk... I swear it was all attitude all day!

NO giggles! No matter how much I tried, not even a smile...

Coincidence or hairstyle? You tell me.
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